May 31, 2013
Life imitates the web
Internet cat agent?
Grumpy Cat Has an Agent, and Now a Movie Deal
Some celebrities simply cannot be pleased. Just ask Ben Lashes, a talent manager in Los Angeles. This week, he landed a major motion-picture deal for a client who nine months ago was an unknown living in Morristown, Ariz., population 227.
When he told his client that she was heading to Hollywood, she looked bored. "She hates movies," says Mr. Lashes of his client, Grumpy Cat, a cat with a mouth puckered into a frown whose viral photos have ricocheted around the Internet.
Mr. Lashes, 34 years old, is an agent for Internet cats.
What a (wedding) shot!
May 29, 2013
Clever marketing (3)
56 in this list, actually. Here are the first 10.
50+ of the Worst (Best) Analogies by High School Students
This list of hilariously mis-formulated analogies by high school students has been bouncing around the Interwebs for awhile, but it's so good that it deserves a repost. Lore has it that it originates from a Washington Post contest that asked teachers to send samples of the worst analogies from their students' work. The word "worst" is a bit of a misnomer because many of these analogies are unintentional genius and all of them are pretty hilarious. Enjoy:
- Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
- He was as tall as a 6'3? tree.
- Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
- From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
- John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
- She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
- The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
- He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
- Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
- She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
Biter bit (5)
May 28, 2013
Happy Birthday, Maru
Not quite recursive
New phone books
May 27, 2013
Memorial Day 2013
Here's part of a short essay by Alex Horton at a Veterans' Affairs site.
When Memorial Day Bleeds Across the Calendar
[...] Even as a young kid, I reflected on my distant relative killed at Gettysburg, and the men my grandfather and uncle knew in Korea and Vietnam who came home in flag-draped transfer cases. But a turn down a trash-strewn road fundamentally changed the concept of love and loss for many in the platoon. We were young soldiers and unaccustomed to death. It was no longer something only our grandparents had to worry about. Suddenly we were eulogizing our brother who never had a chance to grow old and live a full life.
Memorial Day is meant to remind folks of the sacrifice borne by those who fell in battle in defense of the country, as well as their families. But once you lose someone in combat, Memorial Day bleeds across the rest of the calendar. [...]
I hope civilians find more solace in Memorial Day than I do. Many seem to forget why it exists in the first place, and spend the time looking for good sales or drinking beers on the back porch. It's a long weekend, not a period of personal reflection. At the same time, many incorrectly thank Vets or active duty folks for their service. While appreciated, it's misdirected. That's what Veterans Day is for. Instead, they should take some time and remember the spirit of the country and the dedication of those men and women who chose to pick up arms. They never came home to be thanked, and only their memory remains.
May 25, 2013
Several things struck me about this clip. First, the grace of the robot's motion: it's so smooth and sure, like an automated Slow Hand.
Second, it's amazing how quickly this material sets. I assume the objects beside the extrusion tip are blowing warm air to make it set faster.
And finally, while it's probably not what the inventors had in mind, this looks like a great way to apply caulk.
MATAERIAL is the result of the collaborative research between Petr Novikov, Saša Jokić from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Joris Laarman Studio. IAAC tutors representing Open Thesis Fabrication Program provided their advice and professional expertise. During the course of the research we developed a brand new digital fabrication method and a working prototype that can open a door to a number of practical applications.
The nose knows
Man growing new nose on his arm
After losing his nose to cancer, scientists are reportedly helping a 56-year-old man grow a new one.
According to reports, scientists at the University College London are growing two noses, one which will be kept at the lab while the other will be implanted in the patients arm.
"We've got two noses growing, just in case someone drops one," Professor Alex Seifalian told the Belfast Telegraph.
May 24, 2013
Busted for inappropriate attire
Police stop cyclist near Bristol for 'not wearing Lycra'
A cyclist was stopped by police for not wearing "the right road bike clothing".
Tim Burton, 25, said he was pulled over in Keynsham on Wednesday for "not wearing Lycra".
He tweeted: "The PC said I wasn't dressed in appropriate gear to be riding my bike so had I stolen it?"
PC Keith James, from Avon and Somerset Police, said he stopped Mr Burton because it was "unusual to see an expensive bike being ridden by someone in non-cycling clothes."
May the wind always be in your face
May 23, 2013
Traveler photo contest
Here's 1 of 40 images from the National Geographic Traveler Magazine: 2013 Photo Contest at The Big Picture.
OUTDOOR SCENES - Yosemite Valley at Night - The mist on the valley floor reflects car lights driving through. Yosemite National Park, USA. (Phil Hawkins/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
The audacious plan to end hunger with 3-D printed food
Anjan Contractor's 3D food printer might evoke visions of the "replicator" popularized in Star Trek, from which Captain Picard was constantly interrupting himself to order tea. And indeed Contractor's company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his universal food synthesizer.
But Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a background in 3D printing, envisions a much more mundane—and ultimately more important—use for the technology. He sees a day when every kitchen has a 3D printer, and the earth's 12 billion people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store. Contractor's vision would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.
Ubiquitous food synthesizers would also create new ways of producing the basic calories on which we all rely. Since a powder is a powder, the inputs could be anything that contain the right organic molecules. We already know that eating meat is environmentally unsustainable, so why not get all our protein from insects?
Via Carpe Diem
In Portuguese, but you'll get the drift.
May 22, 2013
A victim of one of the Oklahoma tornadoes finds her dog while being interviewed.
How to help
This article at USA Today lists 9 organizations providing aid to the tornado victims.
How to help Oklahoma tornado victims
The Salvation Army and Red Cross are making it easier to help those affected by the recent tornado.
If you're looking for ways to help residents of Oklahoma, ravaged by a monstrous tornado on Monday, the following relief organizations are working in the area...
This is 1 of 50 images from Part 2 of a collection of wallpaper. There are two other parts (1 & 3) as well.
May 21, 2013
Well played, youngster
But is that cricket?
High school seniors release 10,000 crickets into halls, get banned from graduation
High school seniors were banned from graduation after releasing 10,000 crickets into its halls as a prank.
East Carter High School in Grayson, Ky., stopped seven students from attending Saturday morning's celebration because of the cost of the cleanup.
Principal Larry Kiser said the creepy critters were still hiding in nooks and crannies several days later — which meant costly exterminators, had to be called in.
And he revealed the students would not receive their diplomas until they had coughed up a collective $600 fine.
in flagrante delicto
I admire this man's savoir-faire
May 20, 2013
Nice catch! (10)
Busting Robin Hood
Keene sues six parking meter 'Robin Hoods' who put money in expired meters
KEENE - The city has filed a lawsuit against six citizens, part of a group dubbed Robin Hood of Keene that patrols downtown armed with video cameras and pockets full of change to fill expired parking meters.[...]
"They say video recording or talking to them is harassing them, but I don't agree with that," "Robin Hooder" James Cleaveland said of parking enforcement officers. "So they want to establish a safety zone of fifty feet."
Members of the group place cards under windshield wipers that read, "Your meter expired; however, we saved you from the king's tariffs, Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Please consider paying it forward," and includes an address where donations can be sent.
The group says the suit was filed because the city is losing revenue from parking tickets. The city says the activists are harassing its employees.
Got wood? (2)
1 of 28 images of someone's chainsaw sculptures. It's quite a collection.
May 18, 2013
New Periodic Table song
Unclear on the concept (3)
Man arrested for 'soliciting prostitute' on HONEYMOON after he leaves bride in hotel so he can meet hooker who is actually a cop
The honeymoon is over for Mohammed Ahmed.
The 21-year-old Illinois man was arrested for soliciting a prostitute last week while he was honeymooning with his new wife in Florida. [....]
Ahmed left his newlywed in their room at the Omni Hotel in Champions Gate when he went off on his sojourn to pay for sex.
When he never returned, the worried bride called the sheriff's office to report him missing.
May 16, 2013
Mind the volume - it gets loud in a hurry.
Via TYWKIWDBI. Details from Reddit comments: "This happened in South Korea. This clip was shown today on Korean SBS TV, where every Monday morning they have a 20 minute segment with only black box recordings and interviews. The lady survived but is still in hospital."
Vigilantes 1, vulgarians 0
Gothamist issues a certificate of commendation.
Heroic Theatergoer Smashes Cell Phone, Gets Thrown Out
We can't count the number of times we've wanted to enact vengeance on some inconsiderate audience member whose cell phone goes off during a performance. But, like most people, we just bottle that fury up deep down inside and take it out on the break room vending machine later. Not Kevin Williamson. Last night the National Review writer was in attendance at the marvelous new musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 when one theatergoer's incessant cell phone use finally drove him over the edge... into vigilantism. [...]
Although each table is explicitly told that photography and cell phone use is strictly prohibited during the performance, the people seated around Williamson were, he says, unbearable. "They were carrying on a steady conversation throughout entire show," Williamson, who also writes a theater column for New Criterion, tells us. "They had been quite loud and obnoxious the entire time. There were two groups, one to the left and one to the right who were being loud and disruptive."
During intermission, Williamson's date complained to the theater's management, but he says he didn't personally witness the theater managers admonish the disruptive audience members. And once the performance resumed, the woman sitting to Williamson's right on his bench would not, he says, stop using her cell phone. "It looked like she was Googling or something," Williamson tells us. "So I leaned over and told her it was distracting and told her to put it away. She responded, 'So don't look.' "
Blood boiling, Williamson says he then asked her, sarcastically, "whether there had been a special exemption for her about not using her phone during the play. She told me to mind my own business, and so I took the phone out of her hands. I meant to throw it out the side door, but it hit some curtains instead. I guess my aim's not as good as it should be." Asked if the phone was damaged, Williamson says, "It had to be; I threw it a pretty good distance."
Title comes from Mr. Williams' account of the events.
Here's 1 of the Top 10 Extreme Photo Manipulations by Michael Oswald.
May 15, 2013
Some might call this "chicken fried bacon." But I'd call it "Southern fried bacon" to avoid the confusion some have with the term "chicken fried."
A few years ago, I was in a restaurant that had both chicken fried steak and chicken fried chicken on the menu. What the...?! I took that tautology to mean: chicken fried the way you fry chicken. Yep, that's how you do it.
I can remember when restaurants in the US South and Midwest routinely called their fried chicken "Southern fried chicken." But I haven't seen that on a menu for some time now.
Why New Yorkers are so popular
Rich Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides so kids can cut lines at Disney World
They are 1 percenters who are 100 percent despicable.
Some wealthy Manhattan moms have figured out a way to cut the long lines at Disney World — by hiring disabled people to pose as family members so they and their kids can jump to the front, The Post has learned.
The "black-market Disney guides" run $130 an hour, or $1,040 for an eight-hour day.
"My daughter waited one minute to get on 'It's a Small World' — the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours," crowed one mom, who hired a disabled guide through Dream Tours Florida.
Keep trolling and carry on
More "nice" people - but in England.
May 14, 2013
A sight-seeing boat in narrow canals. I've been to Amsterdam but I don't remember seeing this.
And God is her copilot, I'll bet
North Miami mayoral candidate says she was endorsed by Jesus
North Miami's unpredictable election exploits entered the final day on a divine note: a mayoral candidate claiming she was endorsed by Jesus Christ.
Anna Pierre, who previously said she was a victim of Vodou sorcery, posted the message in a campaign-style flier featured on her Facebook page.
This woman seems to have a lot going on.
Mayoral candidate in Florida defeated after claiming endorsement by Jesus
Anna Pierre, a registered nurse, claimed she was endorsed by Jesus Christ, but still finished last among the seven candidates in the North Miami mayor's race.
She didn't have a prayer.
A mayoral candidate in Florida was soundly defeated in her election on Tuesday despite claiming an endorsement by Jesus Christ.
May 13, 2013
Danilo writes, "[H]ere in Brazil this is like a joke. Many people here can't understand how people can think that way. It's like a shame."
Senhor Testiculo (AKA 'Mr. Balls') Is Here To Save Brazilians From Testicular Cancer
We've got to hand it to this Brazilian cancer organization: Having a huge testicle as a mascot is pretty ballsy.
"Senhor Testiculo" (aka "Mr. Testicle" or "Mr. Balls"), recently made a very public appearance at an event run by the Associação de Assistência às Pessoas in Viçosa, Brazil. The mascot, which is literally a huge pair of testicles, appears quite cheerful in the numerous pictures from the event. (Just goes to show, you don't have to be testy to represent testicular cancer.)
Picture of this mascot at the link
In Osaka, Japan, I believe
May 11, 2013
More mean tweets
Do-it-yourself invisibility with 3-D printing
Seven years ago, Duke University engineers demonstrated the first working invisibility cloak in complex laboratory experiments. Now it appears creating a simple cloak has become a lot simpler.
"I would argue that essentially anyone who can spend a couple thousand dollars on a non-industry grade 3-D printer can literally make a plastic cloak overnight," said Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor in electrical and computer engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering. [...]
Urzhumov said that producing a cloak in this fashion is inexpensive and easy. He and his team made a small one at Duke which looks like a Frisbee™ disc made out of Swiss cheese. Algorithms determined the location, size and shape of the holes to deflect microwave beams. The fabrication process takes from three to seven hours. [...]
Just like the 2006 cloak, the newer version deflects microwave beams, but researchers feel confident that in the not-so-distant future, the cloak can work for higher wavelengths, including visible light.
Spock vs. Spock
A funny ad by Audi.
May 08, 2013
A little unclear
But I assume the driver of the other car was the one texting.
Paging Anaïs Nin
Porn studies is the new discipline for academics
Porn Studies needs your contributions. The Routledge academic periodical will debut next spring, and a call for papers appeared this week soliciting submissions for "the first dedicated, international, peer-reviewed journal to critically explore those cultural products and services designated as pornographic". Two dons, Feona Attwood and Clarissa Smith, are the editors.
Home carbonite kit
May 07, 2013
H.T. Steve R.
Markets in everything (18)
IdeaBounty.com has a clever tagline: "The best ideas get paid."
What is idea bounty?
Clients: Get thousands of minds thinking about your brief and only pay for what you use.
Creatives: Get paid for your best ideas with no long term commitment from you.
This reminds me of something Heinlein wrote, "To me, the acme of prose style is exemplified by that simple, graceful clause: 'Pay to the order of...'"
Via Carpe Diem
May 06, 2013
I found this at weather.com last Friday (May 3rd) after the snowstorm in the north-central US. There was no legend, so I don't know where it was taken. The snow man's a nice touch, eh?
Don't it make your brown eyes blue
New laser surgery technique can turn your brown eyes blue
Of all the features we notice about a person upon meeting them, their eyes are often the first connection we make. But some people just aren't satisfied with the color of their peepers, wishing their dark corneas away in favor of a pleasant shade of blue. Those unhappy with brown eyes may find just what they're looking for: Laguna Beach doctor Gregg Homer has developed a new procedure that can actually convert brown-colored eyes to blue in just a matter of weeks.
The operation itself is fairly straight forward: Using a laser tuned to a special frequency, the doctor actually alters the cells that produce the brown coloration in the eye. After a few weeks, the darker color begins to fade, revealing the blue pigment underneath. As the doctor explains it, the procedure only works for brown-eyed individuals, as they already have a bluish coloration hiding underneath.
According to Homer, the procedure takes just 20 seconds to complete. [...] Homer and his company, Stroma Medical, have been working on the technology for over a decade, and say it will be available on a consumer basis within three years.
As Dave Barry wrote, "Lasers are amazing devices which emit beams of light powerful enough to vaporize a bulldozer, yet are so precise that they can be used in delicate optical surgery, provided the surgeon remembers to change the setting on the laser to ‘delicate optical surgery’ from ‘vaporize bulldozer'."
Via TYWKIWDBI who references Crystal Gayle's 1977 song.
Fur Elise revisited
May 03, 2013
It's pretty cheesy, all right
Free range bread
Anywhere on the globe in 4 hours
That's some serious heat transfer -- I could use something like that in my heat pump.
H.T. to our aviation correspondent SteveR
May 02, 2013
Sharing the awesome
Last fall I bought a new phone to check out Republic Wireless, which was doing its beta roll out at the time. Since then, Republic has gone into full production mode and we've moved all the phones in our family to Republic.
Why? Well, because...
The deal Republic offers is commitment-free service which includes all the voice, text and data you want to use. Pretty awesome -- it was just the deal I'd been looking for the last couple of years. We reduced our household cellular bill by 50% when we switched to Republic plus we ended up with more services on all the phones.
The only downside to Republic's deal is that you can only get the service on phones you buy from them. Those phones are Motorola Defy XTs, which are fully-featured Android smartphones. They've got good specs and they work great. I haven't found an Android app that I can't run on the Defy. But the Defy XT only comes in one size and it doesn't have all the bells & whistles of a Samsung Galaxy S4 or an iPhone 5.
If you like the idea of full phone service at a great price with no contractual commitment (and you can live without the latest bells & whistles) then Republic's deal can't be beat.
Republic is offering incentives for new customer referrals. People I refer get a $19 credit - and so do I.
Check it out. FTW.
(For more info about how Republic's service works, here's their What's the catch? page.)
A Boy and His Atom
Unclear on the concept (2)
Victims take gun from suspects during home invasion, suspects come back asking for their gun
Edinburg police continue their search for a man accused of robbing three people early Saturday morning.
Investigators told Action 4 News two men burst into an apartment located on the 1400 block of West Carmen Street around 4:00 Saturday morning and demanded money. [...]
Police said during the robbery the victims were able to get the gun from the suspects; both fled the scene.
The victims called 911 and turned the gun over to police.
A few hours later the victims said the suspects came back and asked for their gun back—that is when the victims called police again.
May 01, 2013
This is the exact reason
...that I always check inside my helmet before riding. (Likewise when we take the kayaks out.)
A little indiscreet, to say the least
She never should have walked the walk
Sometimes, to make a convincing case for yourself, you have to show as well as tell, walk the walk as well as talk the talk. [...]
Erica Tamburin made the mistake of walking the walk when she ought not have. She participated in the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon in May 2010, finishing in 2 hours, 43 minutes (50th out of 173).
What would have been a respectable performance for anyone was truly extraordinary for a young woman claiming severe, permanent injuries from a car accident in the Cabela’s parking lot just six months earlier. (Ms. Tamburin was also listed as the first baseman for the HJS coed softball team subsequent to her accident.)
Tamburin filed suit against Cabela’s in 2011, claiming injuries to her head, neck, shoulders, back, chest, arms, body chemistry, and psyche. The exact nature of the injuries to her “body chemistry” and “psyche” is not known.
What would OSHA say?
Via Carpe Diem